Majestic Illumination: a thousand years of Tibetan mural masterpieces – Hidden amidst soaring snowy mountains, deep valleys, and desolate deserts are some of the greatest treasures of Buddhist culture and Tibetan heritage. For more than a decade, photographer Thomas Laird traveled the length, breadth, and far-flung corners of Tibet’s plateau to capture the land’s spectacular Buddhist murals in all their sublime vastness, intricacy, and their spiritual, emotional, and psychological enrichment.
Deploying new multi-image digital photography, Laird compiled the world’s first archive of these artworks, some walls as wide as 10 meters, in life-size resolution. This breathtaking publication assembles Laird’s portfolio in extra-large format with six fold-outs, printed in five colors including gold. Featuring both complete murals and copious details, it immerses readers into these precious, extraordinary masterpieces.
In recognition of this World Heritage landmark and preservation of Tibetan culture, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama has signed all copies of this Collector’s Edition. In the 528-page scholarly companion book, Buddhist writer and academic Robert Thurman takes us through this transcendent journey with detailed text on the murals’ spiritual significance while captions from experts Heather Stoddard and Jakob Winkler shed light on the storylines and artistic context of each image.
As his Holiness the Dalai Lama has himself explained, these murals are not just objects of beauty, but serve as points of reference and guidance for practitioners of Buddhism, yoga, and meditation, as well as for anyone seeking to incorporate mindfulness into their daily life. Binding contemporary photographic technology with ancient traditions, this book is at once a majestic art piece, a major milestone in the appreciation of Buddhism, a precious monument to Tibetan culture, and a vital source for the contemplative arts and sciences.
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